NOAA 03-059
Contact: Jordan St. John

NOAA News Releases 2003
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Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator, was today presented the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) Public Service Award.

NFI members recognized Lautenbacher's nearly 40 years of service to the American people. After a distinguished military career and a short private sector assignment, Lautenbacher returned to public service in 2001. In making the presentation, NFI President John Connelly stated that Lautenbacher has focused his intellect and experience on the work of establishing sound ocean policies for the United States.

"Vice Admiral Lautenbacher is a dedicated public servant whose career has supported the American people," stated NFI President John Connelly. "During his nearly 40 years of leadership, the Navy regularly called on Vice Admiral Lautenbacher to take on new challenges. His innovative approaches, initiatives, and sound management techniques led to many of the successes the Navy recently experienced in the war on terrorism. The NFI is pleased to see that Vice Admiral Lautenbacher has applied the same approaches as he reshapes NOAA to ensure the balance between environmental protection and the sustainable use of ocean resources. We look forward to continuing our partnerships with NOAA."

Lautenbacher expressed his gratitude to the Institute for the award and outlined NOAA’s core commitment to a sound, sustainable American fishing resource and industry. “NOAA’s commitment to rebuilding America’s marine fish stocks is demonstrated in the recently released Status of U.S. Fisheries Report to Congress, “ said Lautenbacher. “That report shows a steady improvement in the Nation’s fisheries with 20 species coming off the overfished list and overfishing has been eliminated for 25 species.” He indicated that progress will continue with the cooperation of organizations like NFI that are concerned about the future of the American fishing industry.

The NFI is the national trade association for the diverse fish and seafood industry of the United States. NFI is a "water to table" organization representing fishing vessel owners, aquaculturalists, processors, importers, exporters, distributors, retailers and restaurants. NFI is committed to assisting its members to provide consumers with safe, sustainable, and diverse seafood choices. NFI is the leading voice for promoting safe, sustainable, affordable seafood as the daily protein food of choice for feeding the world.

NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation’s living marine resources and their habitat through scientific research, management and enforcement. NOAA Fisheries provides effective stewardship of these resources for the benefit of the nation, supporting coastal communities that depend upon them, and helping to provide safe and health seafood to consumers and recreational opportunities for the American public.

The Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

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